“Pass the Dutchie” by Musical Youth
“Pass the Dutchie” was a cover version of the song “Pass the Kouchie”, by The Mighty Diamonds, meaning a marijuana pipe. But, because all the members of Musical Youth were between 11 and 16 years old at the time, the group’s manager suggested a lyric change, replacing “Kouchie” with “Dutchie.” It didn’t hurt that the name change would also help it get airplay on radio and on MTV. The song was released in 1982, and peaked at #10 on February 26, 1983.
Musical Youth was a British reggae band, consisting of two sets of brothers – Kelvin and Michael Grant, plus Junior and Patrick Waite – along with lead singer Dennis Seaton. “Pass the Dutchie” helped earn the band a Grammy Award nomination for Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards of 1984 (which was won by Culture Club).
The group went on with some more successful songs in the U.K., however they never had hit again in the U.S. Musical Youth split up in 1985 when Seaton left the band. In 1993, there were plans for them to reunite. However, Patrick Waite, who had gone on to a career of juvenile crime, died in Birmingham of a hereditary heart condition (at the age of 24), whilst awaiting a court appearance on drug charges. In 2001, Musical Youth reformed. They were set to perform on the ‘Here & Now’ tour, which was to feature performances by other musicians from the 1980s. However, due to the attacks on September 11, the tour was cancelled. However, by 2003 Musical Youth were back, appearing in a 1980s nostalgia tour. As of 2005, the group has been reduced to a duo of Michael Grant and Dennis Seaton. They do have a web site.
Here is their hit song, “Pass the Dutchie”:
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